I worked for many years in a range of primary schools as a class teacher as well as subject co-ordinator. Following this, I was involved in a DCSF funded consultant role within Manchester Local Education Authority; supporting schools to raise the achievement of black heritage pupils with a strong focus on achievement within mathematics. I went on to carry out a consultant's role focusing on school improvement and undertook the role of strategic lead for mathematics whilst also carrying out an interim joint primary national strategy lead role for Manchester LA. When funding for this post ceased, I moved into higher education here at Manchester Met University. I have worked as a senior lecturer in primary mathematics education here since joining in September 2010. During the last three years, I have also undertaken a partnership co-ordinator role, which involves leading a school based training placement and helping to co-ordinate various partnership activities within a team.
I like to encourage students I work with, to try and get some 'me' time in the middle of doing a very busy and challenging course though I am aware that is not at all easy! I do this through leading by example. Though I have a very busy job and study commitments, which could easily take up all my waking hours, I make sure to put time in to pursuing other interests to maintain my physical and mental well-being. I have been a runner for 18 years and have taken part in a variety of races, including half marathons, a marathon and trail races in the Lake District (my favourite place in the whole world). Walking is another interest of mine (and a lot easier than running – you actually get to see some of the scenery!) I also do yoga (to offset the running). I love going to the theatre, particularly the Bolton Octagon, which gave me my first experience of live theatre, a pivotal part of my educational journey.
There is something very special about working with children, to move them from not knowing to suddenly making a connection, or to move them from knowing something to deepening their understanding of it even further. I find it is quite similar working with our student teachers. I genuinely feel privileged and honoured to work with future teachers on our BA (Hons) Primary Education degree and our Postgraduate Certificate in Education. I really enjoy working with both our undergraduate and postgraduate students. I love watching the undergraduates blossom in their knowledge, understanding of and confidence in their teaching during their three years with us. I feel very proud of them on graduation day and I am always the one who has the hankie hidden in her gown. I love the knowledge and life experience that our postgraduates bring to the course and their steely determination and motivation to succeed on a very demanding course. I am always amazed and
impressed by what they achieve in one year of study with us.
Don’t panic if things don’t go to plan. Everything happens for a reason, we may not know just yet why something happened but it will become apparent, even if this is some years down the line. It will all make sense some day. Things usually work out for the best even if we can’t see that yet…
Though you will be familiar with aspects of mathematics teaching such as counting and the number line, have you ever wondered why we use a strategy such as the number line to calculate or what is involved when children learn to count? In seminars, we take what happens in the classroom and aim to look at the underlying theoretical principles which influence the way many key mathematical concepts are taught.
During my teaching seminars, there is a lot of talk and practical hands-on tasks, often using the kind of mathematical equipment you might find in school. Sometimes there will be movement around the room and of course, some listening. These activities involve everyone in the room; I encourage you to share your experiences as well as sharing my teaching experiences with you. It is important that we develop a
professional dialogue, as that is what you will engage in when in school on your training placements and when you start your first teaching role.
Over the three years of the undergraduate programme or during the year of the postgraduate programme, we explore all the big ideas of mathematics so that you can understand their relevance to the curriculum and
can deepen your understanding and knowledge of how to teach them to young children aged 3 – 11. Sessions are designed to be interactive, thought-provoking, sometimes challenging (in a supportive environment) and often eye-opening. Lots of ‘aaahhh’ moments to be had! Even if you are a bit frightened of mathematics now, I am hopeful that you will develop your confidence in your own subject knowledge and in how to teach this truly beautiful and creative discipline.
BA (Hons) Urban Planning (Upper second)
PGCE Primary Education
MSc STEM Education (with distinction)
Currently enrolled on Doctor of Education (Ed D) programme
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
My most recent research has focused on the intellectual and personal resources that primary education students draw on, when working on mathematics and how they relate these to their own teaching of mathematics. The findings of this small-scale research were shared at BSRLM Conference, February 2016 in
Manchester and can be found in the linked conference proceedings.
Currently, I am in the early stage of my journey on my doctorate and so though I continue to research and keep abreast of developments in this fascinating area, I am also interested in other areas which may take a higher priority as I progress through to the thesis stage.
M. Naik (2013). Mathematics. In: Creativity in the Primary Curriculum, Second Edition. pp.33-49.
M. Naik (2016). ‘When Mamta met Nancy and Emily to do some mathematics’ – what intellectual and personal resources do primary student teachers draw on when doing and considering the teaching of mathematics?. In: Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics. Manchester, UK, 27/2/2016. pp.59-64.
Member of British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM)